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The Ultimate Vegan "Crab" Cakes & Tartar Sauce- Using Hearts of Palm & Silken Tofu

Updated: Jul 14, 2022

The ultimate weekend snack that's perfect for sharing or serving as an appetizer.

These crispy and delicious "crab" cakes are made of Hearts of palm, nori (edible seaweed), silken tofu and chickpeas.

The hearts of palm, which has a texture and resemblance very similar to crab meat is paired with the nori, which lends the taste of the ocean, then blended with silken tofu and chickpeas to bind all of the the robust flavours and textures. They're then pan fried until beautifully golden brown and served with a squeeze of fresh lemon and creamy tartar sauce.

See below for the "crab" cake and tartar sauce recipes, with step-by-step photos.

Yield 20-24 "Crab" Cakes

For The "Crab" Cakes


  • 2 Cans Hearts of Palm, drained- I used

  • 1 Can Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 Nori Sheet, torn into pieces

  • 1/2 Cup Extra Firm Silken Tofu- I used

  • 1-2 Celery Sticks, finely diced

  • 1 Medium Sized Onion, diced

  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

  • 1 Tbl Dijon or Spicy Brown Mustard

  • 3 Tbl Lemon Juice

  • 1 Tbl Paprika

  • 3 Tbl Pasley Flakes

  • 2 tsp Salt

  • 1/2 - 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)

  • 2 Cups Bread Crumbs, divided (1 cup for the mixture, 1 cup for coating)

  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper

  • Coconut Oil for frying- I used


  1. Add chickpeas, nori, onion, garlic, dijon mustard, tofu, lemon juice, paprika, parsley, salt and cayenne to a food processor and pulse until all the ingredients are well combined.

  2. For the hearts of palm "crab meat", unravel each heart of palm and use your hands to shred them. Note: some of the heart of palm pieces are tougher and may not be able to shred. You can chop them into small pieces instead.

  3. Using a mixing bowl, add the chickpea mixture, shredded and chopped hearts of palm and celery.

  4. Mix to combine until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

  5. Add 1 cup of the panko bread crumbs, black pepper and lemon zest to the mixture and fold to combine.

  6. Using your hands or an ice cream scoop, form the mixture into patties (cakes) approximately 1 inch thick.

  7. Add the remaining 1 cup of panko bread crumbs to a bowl, and evenly coat each "crab" cake with the breadcrumbs.

  8. Cover and place in the fridge to chill for an hour or more. Note: you can also prepare these a day in advance before ready for frying and serving.

  9. Using a large skillet, heat on medium- high heat, add coconut oil approximately 1/2- 1 inch deep. When the oil is heated enough for frying, add the "crab" cakes (in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan). Cook for approximately 3- 5 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.

For the Tartar Sauce

Vegan Mayo Version


  • 1 Cup Vegan Mayonnaise

  • 2 tsp Lemon juice

  • 2 tsp chopped Capers

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 2 tsp Agave

  • 2 tsp Parsley

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Add everything to a bowl and mix to combine.

Silken Tofu Version


  • 1 Pack Extra Firm Silken Tofu- I used

  • 2 Tbl Capers

  • 2 Tbl lemon juice

  • 1-2 tsp Onion Powder

  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder

  • 1/2-1 tsp Salt

  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

  • 2 Tbl Chadon Beni, roughly chopped (or sub for cilantro or chive)

  • 1/2 tsp Paprika

  • 1/2 tsp Spicy Brown Mustard or Dijon Mustard


  1. Add oil of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until well combined and creamy (making sure there are no lumps of tofu remaining).

  2. Serve freshly cooked "crab" cakes with lemon wedges and tartar sauce.

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